As much as I enjoy ‘The Flash’, the Iris character is becoming a real drag. She seems to be just about the only person in Central City who doesn’t know that her own best friend is the superhero she’s obsessed with, and this week she even gets kidnapped by the villain like some old movie serial’s whimpering damsel-in-distress. She needs to either smarten up or be written out.
In episode ‘The Flash Is Born’, Iris’ blogging about “The Streak” (as she calls him) brings the attention of the latest evil meta-human to come out of the woodworks. (With so many out there, why do they wait to appear one at a time? I’d expect the whole city to be overrun with meta-humans by now.) This particular baddie is a former grade-school bully named Tony Woodward, who can turn his whole body to metal and is virtually indestructible. After he steals a yellow Hummer (which Det. West and his partner Eddie point out is ultra-douchey), Barry intervenes, only for Tony to beat the hell out of him, breaking his hand and leaving him with a bunch of other injuries that will take a few hours to heal. It seems that speed alone will not be enough to stop this opponent. Barry needs a strategy.
Despite seeming to be sub-literate, Tony has apparently read Iris’ blog, and pays her a visit at the coffee shop to find out what she knows about this annoying Streak guy. Well, I guess he didn’t read very much of her blog, or he’d realize that she hardly knows anything at all. Barry races in to save her and gets beaten up again.
Cisco and Caitlin calculate that the only way to defeat Woodward is to hit him at Mach 1.1, which will require that Barry run 5.3 miles in a straight shot to build up enough momentum. Hmmm, it seems to me that if Barry moves so much faster than Woodward, he could simply run rings around him and wrap him up in some heavy-duty chains or something. Sadly, no one else thinks of this.
Tony snatches Iris and drags her to their old school, which was clearly the high point of his life. This time, Barry nails him with the super-sonic punch. I expected this to shatter his face (and Barry’s hand too), but all it actually does is daze him enough for Iris to conk him over the head with a trophy or something. The visual effect itself is cool and looks like it was torn straight from a comic book panel, but the scene is still quite anti-climactic.
Once Tony is locked up in the reactor core prison, Barry reveals his identity. Ha ha, yes, I’m that nerd you used to beat up! Suck it, jerkface!! While I’m sure that was gratifying, it may not have been the smartest idea. Something tells me that all these captured meta-humans will come back around again.
As far as the episode title goes, Barry checks in with Iris (they’d been fighting over something stupid, but now make up) and slyly suggests to her that The Flash would be a better name for the mysterious hero than The Streak. Now that she knows that other meta-humans also exist, Iris wants to investigate all of them.
In a side story, Det. West asks Dr. Wells for help reopening the case of the murder of Barry’s mother. If Barry is right and his mother was killed by a meta-human like himself, where did that meta-human come from? Wells assures him that all meta-humans were created in the reactor meltdown, and none could have existed prior to that.
West is suspicious and believes that Wells may have actually built a previous reactor and had something to do with the murder, but Wells tells him a story about his dead wife that somehow sets West’s mind at ease. However, later that night, West is visited by a yellow lightning blur that leaves him a message threatening his daughter if he doesn’t back off from the investigation. How hard could it possibly be for him to put two and two together after this?
Although my tone in this recap may sound a little dismissive, this honestly isn’t a bad episode. I’m just getting to the point where I want show-runner Greg Berlanti and his writers to work a little harder ironing out the wrinkles in their scripts.